A Vital Season
By Mackenzie Krueger, host of Arrows Pre-Game / Post-Game Live
It’s a changed world we are living in. However, one thing continues to unite us, excite us and bring us to the edges of our seats, and that is sport. And there is no sport like rugby to make you forget about your own hardship as you watch the players battle on the turf for 80 minutes. Luckily the Toronto Arrows have kicked off their 2021 season and rugby fans in Canada and around the world can enjoy the action.
Being at home for much of the past year means that many of us are turning to sport for an escape. The stories told of underdog teams and comeback wins make us feel hopeful. Even those who have not always been engaged in watching sport can connect to the way it makes people feel. Literary theorist Hans Gumbrecht once wrote that we are fascinated by the suffering that appears in some sports, and this is most certainly present in rugby. When we watch players fight through, aggressively driving forward and past obstacles, we realize that we can do it too. What we are pushing through, though, is not another player or the fatigue that arises in the second half of a game, but instead, each day in these trying times. If you’re really looking to escape the Covid 19 blues, rugby offers some of the most exhilarating emotion of any sport. There is surprise at the hard hits, admiration of the players’ tenacity or excitement when tries are scored and a team celebrates. The Arrows never fail to bring emotion to the pitch and their fans to their feet wherever they may be watching from. This is, arguably, more important this year than ever before.
Anyone in the rugby community knows how tightly knit it is. Teammates are like family, other players are respected and the fans support the whole unit with their passion. Although this year’s season is different, this feeling of connection is an integral part of the Arrows. And the good news is, anyone can learn the rules of the game and end up falling for its sometimes confusing but always entertaining structure. It is a community and lifestyle that can persevere through even the toughest of years. This could be because rugby represents many different types of people. A team, sometimes boasting a roster of 30 players, has many different types of athletes – the short and quick, the broad and strong, the tall and wily. The list goes on and the Arrows are no exception of this multidimensional athleticism. Everyone watching can see someone like themselves and believe that maybe they too could be just as gritty, strong and relentless in their lives. This identification connects us to the game.
The Toronto Arrows are involved in the community through initiatives including the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation and the Iroquois Roots Rugby Program. They also share news, highlights and rugby workouts, making the Toronto community feel connected as all ‘ruggers’ do to each other.
With the Toronto Arrows established in their bubble in Georgia, Toronto rugby fans wait with excitement and anticipation to see those blue and white jerseys on the field each week. Anyone interested in supporting our home team can find their games on TSN, the TSN app and a few other streaming services. There’s only one thing left to say as we navigate the twists and turns of this unconventional season: “Arrows Up!”
Follow Mackenzie on Instagram: @mhk.mackenziekrueger
Header Photo Credit: Davey Wilson
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